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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Organizational Arrangements

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


August 25, 2014

This month we are exploring some of the facets of Phillipe Rosinski’s Cultural Orientations Framework in order to consider how our own orientations and those of others impact our coaching and collaboration. Two dimensions of Organizational Arrangements are Hierarchy/Equality and Stability/Change.

The hierarchy dimension is grounded in the need to stratify organizations in order to meet the needs of the organization. We typically see this in tribal cultures, in military cultures and in many western organizations. An equality orientation sees everyone as equal with different roles to play at different times. Sometimes factors such as age, length of service, seniority play into this dimension.

With the stability orientation, there is a preference for an orderly environment with as little ambiguity as possible. This orientation is highly challenged in the fast paced changing world of schools today. Contrast that with the change orientation where value is placed on innovation and adaptivity and stability as stifling.

What are your preferences as you consider these cultural orientations? Do they match those of your teammates? How are you navigating your differences? As you coach someone whose organizational arrangement orientations are mismatched with the organization, how might you support him or her best?

Source: Rosinski, P. (2003). Coaching across cultures: new tools for leveraging national, corporate and professional differences. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

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